‘People think it’s too good to be true.’ Local doctor providing free health services
IDAHO FALLS — A new health clinic in Idaho Falls is on a mission to help people by staying open late and providing free services.
Dr. David M. Boren is the medical director and founder of Idaho Falls Employment Health Clinic (IFEHC), located at 2539 Channing Way. Boren is from the Chicago area and earned a medical doctorate from the University of Illinois College of Medicine. He completed an internship in Chicago, did a residency at the University of Utah in Occupational and Environmental Medicine and has been a doctor for over 10 years.
Boren opened IFEHC in March 2020 as a Department of Transportation clinic for commercial motor vehicle drivers seeking medical cards for commercial drivers licenses. Boren later expanded the clinic into an internal medicine clinic, and in July 2021, he decided to make all services free. His clinic, which is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, is geared towards lower middle-wage earners in the non-coastal west.
“We expanded into internal medicine as people asked for basic (health) things (such as writing medication refills) that weren’t emergencies that would cost them a ton of money otherwise,” Boren told EastIdahoNews.com. “It fell in line with our vision because our vision at the end of the day is to serve working people and increase the access to quality healthcare.”
In his 825 square foot clinic, Boren treats a variety of health issues such as fungal infections, strep throat, sinus infections, hypothyroid, nausea and certain established mental health conditions, along with blood pressure and EpiPen refills.
IFEHC does not take insurance and is an appointment-only clinic. To be seen by Boren, a person must call the office and be interviewed by him before mutually deciding if the person should become his patient.
“I have to do that to make sure it’s a good fit because of the attention that people receive doing this,” he added.
Boren said on a general basis his clinic will not charge for tests it can provide. If he anticipates the costs being “unduly burdensome,” which he said has yet to happen, Boren will advise the patient the clinic can’t cover everything and ask the patient to “chip in something on the bill.” IFEHC doesn’t have an MRI or CT machine so patients are responsible for costs associated with those tests, he mentioned.
Other than hiring paid interns, there are no employees at IFEHC. Boren said the way he affords to run the clinic is because he does everything himself — from answering phone calls, scheduling appointments, nursing, physician and phlebotomy work to performing janitor duties. He believes doing all the work himself helps him run the business more efficiently.
“I knew from when I was a resident that one of the biggest problems we had was the handover of data when you’d have multiple people caring for somebody,” Boren explained. “Even though it’s a little bit more work (to run everything by yourself), it heavily improves the quality because there are no miscommunications. People who have any issues or questions reach me right away.”
Boren wants people to be aware and make the most of the various health resources available in the community, including his clinic.
“Free and affordable health clinics have existed long before I opened my clinic,” Boren said. “We’re fighting a barrier that people don’t know we exist. People think it’s too good to be true.”
Community members are invited to attend IFEHC’s ribbon-cutting ceremony Nov. 17 at noon.
IFEHC is also trying to transition to nonprofit status. To donate, apply for a paid internship dedicated to aspiring healthcare professionals and to learn more about the clinic, click here.
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